Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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United States cannot turn a blind eye to terrorism in Israel

It’s the first day of classes. You meet your friends for lunch at Allison. After getting your food, you sit down to eat. You hear a deafening sound — chairs, tables and trays go flying. A bomb has exploded, killing and injuring scores of innocent students.

Fortunately, this hasn’t happened at Northwestern, but it did happen at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During the summer, on July 31, a terrorist entered the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University, with the intent of ruining the lives of as many innocent victims as possible. The terrorist left a bomb in the cafeteria, later detonating it by remote control at lunchtime, knowing the place would be packed. The blast left seven dead and countless injured, their lives forever scarred.

This was an attack on a college campus, an attack on a symbol of free expression, an attack that shattered peace in one of the few places where Arabs and Jews still mix freely.

The cafeteria is near the Rothberg International School. The Frank Sinatra Cafeteria was commonly frequented by foreign students, many of whom were Americans. Five Americans were among the dead.

This terrorist attack was perpetrated not only against Israel but also against the United States, against freedom and democracy — values that these terrorists are committed to destroy.

Make no mistake, there was no political statement to be made by this horrific act; the murderer’s sole intention was to kill people for who they are. There was only hate — hate of the Jewish state, hate for the American way of life and hate of the values these nations share.

Recently we commemorated the one year anniversary of Sept. 11, the dreadful terrorist attack on America and on democracies around the world. Many say the world changed on that day. I disagree. On Sept. 11 Americans’ opened their eyes to the reality that Israelis live with on a constant basis. On Sept. 11 we woke up to the sound of ambulances on the television, only to learn many innocent people had been murdered. Israelis wake up to those sites and sounds almost every day. On that day we came to the realization America and Israel are viewed as one by these terrorists. We realized we are viewed as a threat to them because of our ideals of freedom and democracy.

We must continue our fight against terrorism everywhere. We must fight so people won’t have to worry about family and friends returning alive from work in skyscrapers. We must eliminate terrorism and its perpetrators if we don’t want parents all over the world to worry about their children not coming home from lunch. The war against terrorism must continue, so college students everywhere, like you and me, will be able to eat in cafeterias without the fear of being blown to pieces.

After the attacks on Sept. 11, America attacked the terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan. We fought in order to protect Americans and the American ideals of freedom and democracy. We also are fighting to safeguard our most steadfast democratic allies, like Israel, around the world.

For the past two years, Israel has been fighting its own war against terrorism. The Palestinian terrorism waged against Israel is being presented as political struggle, and the Palestinian terrorists are portrayed as freedom fighters. Political struggles do not include the murder of teenagers in a discotheque or of children trying to get to school on a school bus.

To present murderers as freedom fighters is to justify terrorism. It is justifying the same kind of terrorism that killed thousands of Americans on Sept. 11.

That is why we, as Americans, who cherish freedom and democracy, must stand proudly with Israel in its daily struggle against Palestinian terrorism. If we in America turn a blind eye to suicide bombings and the deliberate targeting of teenagers and children in Israel as we wage our own war on terrorism, we risk betraying the very ideals for we which are fighting.

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United States cannot turn a blind eye to terrorism in Israel